Life Is But a Song…And Dance

Not quite ready for Swan Lake.

Some people think they were born at the wrong time; adventurers wish they had lived in 900 AD when Vikings sailed the seas, and fleshy women yearn for the 1600s when their bodies would have been the feminine ideal in Rubens’ paintings.  I’m fine with the current time, but think I was born into the wrong movie.  My life is a Low-Budget Documentary, interspersed with Tear-Jerker Drama and Slapstick Farce.  I should live in a Hollywood Musical.

In a Hollywood Musical, it’s perfectly acceptable to break into song (and/or dance) at the least provocation.   When you do that in real life, people look at you strange.  Believe me, I know.  And while it’s great that under Obamacare my insurance will pay 100% for mental health counseling, I don’t think I could swing the $6750 deductible if I were committed to the psych ward.

When I was a teenager I saw “Fame,” a gritty musical about the trials and tribulations of students at a New York high school for the performing arts.  I came out singing and dancing, yearning for stardom.  My high school taught useless stuff like History, Algebra and French.  The “Fame” kids took cool classes, like Dancing On Cars and Legwarmers 101.  Clearly, my parents’ lack of foresight in not being gritty New Yorkers torpedoed my chances.

I know I would have shone in our high school musicals, but I wound up in the orchestra pit, fumbling through the impossible scores of Broadway classics like L’il Abner and Guys & Dolls while gazing longingly up at the stage where I rightfully belonged.  Some might say my lack of high school stardom was my own fault, primarily because I was too chicken to actually try out for any parts, but as a crucial pillar of the band, I felt it was my duty to support the teacher, Miss Fletcher.  Talent thwarted yet again.

I can carry a tune – at least I think I can.  But, surprisingly, nobody has ever urged me to chuck this work-a-day world and head to Broadway.

I can dance, too – if we count the Bee Gees-inspired gyrations that take place in my living room and at weddings after a couple glasses of wine.  I’m not classically trained, though. With 9 kids to tend, Mom concentrated on getting food on the table more than schlepping us to extra-curriculars like dance lessons.   I gathered my courage and signed up for beginner ballet when I was 16, and at the very first lesson I was clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the class.  They were all 5-years-old.  My non-limber, already over-ripe woman’s body towered over a sea of tiny, pink munchkins.  I could barely touch the ground, while they could do so with their noses.  I quit after the first lesson.

When my kids were little, they got a kick out of me singing and twirling them around at the grocery store.  When they got a bit older? Not so much.  During their mouthy preteen years, nothing got them to behave quicker than me threatening to burst into the opening scene from Oklahoma right there in the produce section.

I’d pretty much resigned myself to a musical-free life, but recent events have me reconsidering.  I found a pair of tap shoes at Goodwill that were just my size.  They’re practically brand new – their prior owner was probably a little old lady who only used them to tap to church on Sundays.  If this isn’t a sign from the universe that I am destined for musical stardom, I don’t know what is.  So far I’ve only taken them for an introductory spin around my kitchen, but I’m sure I’ll figure out how to tap-dance like a whiz in no time.

The next time you’re at the grocery store and it sounds like Shirley Temple is in the frozen foods aisle, who knows?  It could be my big debut.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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32 Responses to Life Is But a Song…And Dance

  1. By all means find a tap dance teacher, especially one who specializes in classes for those over 13. Not only is tapping a H— of a lot of fun, some research that I saw somewhere years ago said that the tap patterns do wonders for brain health. Yes, at first the tapping make you feel like you have four left feet, BUT just a little perseverance and suddenly your feet get it.

    Like

  2. sarah9188 says:

    I tried out for those plays in high school, but I think the drama teacher had something against me. I never was able to score anything more than a line or two. It was fun, but how was I supposed to become a star with that little to work with?? These days, I only perform my singing and dancing in the living room and my only audience are my plants. But in my own imagination, I would be amazing living in a Hollywood musical and would totally not be a weirdo like in real life. 😀

    Like

  3. I am a closet dancer/singer/twirler too. Of course, the closet is where my kids would prefer I break into “when I take you out in the surrey with the fringe…on top!”

    I don’t dance as much anymore as I’m the world’s biggest klutzo. But I do belt out these huge Broadway songs with my own lyrics. The kids love it, as you can imagine. I sing about doing dishes, cooking, cleaning the toilet. I make a song about everything. It’s a real good way of getting them to do the chores for me so I’ll shut up.

    You and I should create a musical for people who suck at song and dance. We could call it “The Loser Musical” or “Un-Musical!” and write songs like “I Just Wanna Dance Like An Idiot-Is That So Wrong?” It would be a mega hit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      Miss Darli-Nightingale, you are a genius. People are ripe for musicals – look at how well that one with the LA planetarium did? Can’t remember the name. But if it features real life songs about real life experiences, along with pathetically real life singing and dancing, I smell Tony. (And that’s not just an overly personal comment about some guy named Anthony’s hygiene – I’m talking Broadway honors.)

      Let’s make it happen.

      Like

  4. Get on that tap dancing, Peg. You can be the entertainment at the sibling extravaganza! 🙂

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  5. Tap shoes! It is a sign!
    Life is a cabaret, but only the brave really hear the music.
    (RC Cat says Staff here is only allowed to sing inside the house…We do not wish her to be taken aways as staff is so hard to train..We have to accept some quirks )
    (Honestly, I think society would be much more on an even keel if schools returned to the mandatory fall, Christmas, and spring programs where every kid got on stage and had some role to play. Developmental. Probably why so many are crying to attention with bad behavior….all from not having their turn – even as a carrot – in the school spotlight. HAHA)

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    • pegoleg says:

      You’re so right on both fronts. First, that it is probably smarter for us to confine our singing and dancing to our own kitchens and second, that bad school pageants should be a required part of growing up. Teaches kids humility. Also humiliation, but that’s not always bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Al says:

    This is actually insider information, Peg, but word on the street is they are about to cast for “Chicago II – Back in Jail.” You could even commute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      That sounds like it’s right up my alley! I’ll try for the part of Renee Zellwegger – after 30 years doing hard time. I’m a shoe-in.

      How’d the surgery go? Are you up and around?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Al says:

        Just posted a blog on surgery….check it out.

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          I read it – funny as ever. But I couldn’t figure out how to comment with your new set-up.

          How is the recuperation going? Sounds very painful. Is Patty waiting on you hand and foot?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Al says:

            Hi again, Peg. Sorry for the problem. As a fellow wordpresser you shouldn’t have to sign in (only those that follow by email) but try signing in and saving and that should do it. Let me know and I will go to tech to get it straightened out. Can’t afford to lose my most loyal follower!!!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Margy says:

    Tap shoes! Wow, I’m impressed. Mary Janes? What color?

    Like

  8. love this!! made me smile!

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  9. Helen Bryan says:

    The video clip made me laugh out loud. How embarrassing to think I use to wear the shorty gym shorts.

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  10. Don’t you remember what happened to Irene Cara at the end of Fame?! Sometimes Fame comes at too high a price or not at all. Plus, New York was not so nice then. Keep that shizzle real.

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    • pegoleg says:

      That’s right – she posed for “art” shots and the hot senior who went off to Hollywood for a screen test came back and became a waiter. Fame is a fickle mistress…or so I hear. Still, they got to dance on top of cars in really, really short shorts and leg warmers, and nobody can take that away from them.

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  11. Elyse says:

    Go ahead and belt out those songs with the tap shoes on. I am at a safe distance!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Elyse! How’ve you been, stranger? I’ve missed all my friends from my time away. The last few months have been a bit of a challenge, but I’m hoping to get back in the groove soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elyse says:

        I’m okay, Peg. I haven’t been around these pages much either. I hope your absence is due to Time off living a previous fantasy, and not for unpleasant reasons!

        😘

        Like

  12. susielindau says:

    I bet you could find loads of videos on YouTube, Peg! My college roommates were in all the plays so our apartment was like a stage. Me? Always in the cheap seats.

    Like

  13. List of X says:

    Please don’t sing in the frozen foods section, Peg. The cold air there is bad for your vocal cords. Maybe use the produce section, it has better acoustics?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Some day I will share with you the embarrassing photos of me in my pink leotard and pink striped leg warmers. Photographers made a fortune recreating things like that for people like us who thought we could have made it to “Fame” if we’d only known about it. The embarrassing part is that I was 23.

    Liked by 1 person

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